People Alliance to lead reforms in parliament: Erdoğan
The economic and judicial reforms to improve the investment climate in Turkey will be led by the People’s Alliance, composed of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, informing that necessary legislation would soon be brought to the agenda in the parliament.
“The People’s Alliance is the example of political solidarity with the largest ground. We will realize the economic and judicial reforms as the People’s Alliance. As [MHP leader Devlet] Bahçeli has indicated, this alliance is not based on overt or covert negotiations,” Erdoğan told his parliamentary group on Nov. 25.
Extraordinary efforts are required in extraordinary processes, and the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges in the economy, Erdoğan said, reiterating that the government is determined to tackle all these problems.
“We are launching a new mobilization in the fields of investment, production and employment. We will realize comprehensive reforms one by one following the end of the budget talks. We are also accelerating judicial reforms directly linked with the investment climate,” he stated.
Erdoğan recalled that the parliament had approved three separate judicial reform packages in recent years, promising that more would follow them, including the Human Rights Action Plan. The government will consult its preparations concerning the reforms with the relevant parties, he said.
Erdoğan indirectly slams Arınç
Erdoğan did also indirectly mention the resignation of senior AKP official Bülent Arınç, who resigned from his job at the Presidency’s Supreme Advisory Board after suggesting that former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and civil society activist Osman Kavala should be released from the prison in line with the judicial reforms.
“Well, we would understand the notorious enemies of Turkey and their hitman within the [Republican People’s Party] CHP. But what should we say about the fact that somebody with whom we have been fighting this struggle is taking the same train? ‘So-and-so is in prison.’ Of course, we are not in a position to reward them,” he said.
No Kurdish question
Erdoğan did also repeat that Turkey has no “Kurdish question,” and his governments in the past 18 years have dealt with the problems of the Turkish citizens of Kurdish descent in the fields of freedom, law and justice.
“We have never discriminated anybody on the condition that he or she has not engaged in terror,” Erdoğan said, describing Demirtaş as the leader of the defender of the terror organization in the disguise of a politician. He also criticized Arınç for advising the people to read Demirtaş’s recent book, Devran.
“I was offended with his promotion of a book written by one of these terrorists,” he said.
Judges should act
Erdoğan did also issue a call on the judges against those who intervene in judicial impartiality along the lines of article 138 of the Constitution.
“As much as the article 138 of the constitution obliges me, it obliges the others. Why don’t you act against those who are violating article 138?” Erdoğan asked.
The opposition politicians, as well as Arınç, have recently slammed the judges and prosecutors for the continued imprisonment of Demirtaş and Kavala.
Erdoğan urges rise in Islamophobia
Later in the day, Erdoğan addressed the meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMSEC) through videoconference.
Comparing the situation of Muslims in Europe to the lynch campaigns imposed on the European Jews before the second world war, Erdoğan said, “Enmity against Islam and Muslim has even turned into a policy under the sponsorship of the head of state in some European countries.”
“Fighting against Islamophobia and xenophobia is a part of our responsibility towards our brothers living on these [European] lands,” he added.